Is Sabbath a day of restorative peace for your family–or is stressful?

Ironically, Sabbaths growing up were quite stressful. My parents were rushing about trying to get us out the door on time. My brothers and I were fighting. We’d usually be struggling through piles of clothes searching for something to wear because despite many attempts we never could quite get the “preparation” of preparation day down.

In fact, I still don’t have it down and I’m 35 years old. With 3 kids of my own who need fed and bathed (at least) and a rather large house I have to manage and tidy up, it’s impossible to get it all done by Friday at sundown.

So when I’m not prepared in time for Sabbath hours, do I let it steal my Sabbath peace?

No way, Jose.

Matthew 12 says Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath. So, would the Prince of Peace, want His special day to steal my joy? Emphatic no.

Of course, we all know that one teensy thing happening to derail our morning, can steal our peace for the entire day. One bad interaction, one problematic relationship, one flat tire, one snide comment, one unhappy kid, the list goes on and on and on.

So, what can we do when our Shabbat isn’t all that Shalom?

First, we can turn to our King–the King of the Sabbath, also the King of Peace.

In God’s Word we can find numerous verses that can bring

Isaiah 41:9-10

When you feel afraid or confused, you can look to the book of Isaiah for help.

You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off”; fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Too often when we read this verse or pray this verse, we start after the good stuff. For the whole picture, go back to verse 9.

The Lord doesn’t just say to us “fear not, for I am with you.”

He doesn’t just say “do not be dismayed because I am your God.”

He doesn’t just say “I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you.”

He also says, “You are my servant” and “I have chosen you.”

So, when you pray for peace this Sabbath, look at Isaiah 41:9-10 because God chose you.

John 16:22-23

When you experience grief and sorrow on Sabbath, there is a refuge in scripture to pray for peace.

So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.

On this earth, there are so many things that can steal our joy: death, COVID-19, aging, career, parenting, etc.

When something about this life threatens our joy, we can look outside it–to Jesus through scripture, and ask it in His name.

Philippians 4:6-7

When you’re anxious this Sabbath, you can call on the peace of God who will guard your heart and mind.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Don’t let anxieties of today steal your Sabbath peace, because the God of yesterday, today, and forever is the God of the Sabbath.